Instant Reaction: Banner night at charity stripe not enough for Texas A&M basketball

Texas A&M basketball dropped their fifth straight game and may be all the way out of the tournament race.

Feb 24, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Jace Carter (0) shoots the ball
Feb 24, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Texas A&M Aggies guard Jace Carter (0) shoots the ball / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M basketball unable to complete comeback against South Carolina

Texas A&M basketball knew that their backs were against the wall coming into this game. They knew that they needed this one to keep their tournament hopes realistic. And, to their credit, they came out and kept pace with a top-25 team for most of the night.

Even when they fell back behind the Gamecocks in the second half, a 17-1 run behind heady play and strong defense had the Aggies right back in the midst of things. Whether that effort, as the announcers wondered, was too much for the Aggies to be able to hold on to the end of the game was a question on the mind of many Aggie fans as the lead began to slip away.

The Gamecocks led 66-61 near the end of the game, but the Aggies dug deep to pull back within two. An and-one by Manny Obaseki to give South Carolina's Collin Murray-Boyles his fifth foul was what drew the Aggies close. The Gamecocks grabbed two offensive rebounds on the final possession, however, and led by two with 26.9 seconds to go.

The Aggies fouled, and the Gamecocks missed the free throw. Wade Taylor sprinted down the floor with the ball to tie the game at 68, but then the Gamecocks repaid the favor within only a few seconds, retaking the lead with three seconds to go.

The Aggies cooked up an inbounds play that incorporated a bit of trickery, but the referees blew it dead after the clock was started prematurely, removing the element of surprise. Wade Taylor took the ball up the court in a more traditional way for the final play, but he fell to the ground just past half court. The time on the game expired with Taylor in a heap on the court.

It was a fitting ending for how this season has gone. You couldn't help but feel like there should have been some kind of redo or retry, or something missed. But, of course, there wasn't. The game was just over.

Texas A&M basketball was once again under 40% shooting. They shot 2-17 from three point range. The one saving grace was their 22-25 night from the line (including some clutch buckets by Manny Obaseki), but, as the case so often has been this year, it was too little, too late.

Texas A&M basketball will take on Georgia this weekend. The Aggies are now looking at having to notch some impressive wins in the SEC tournament if they wish to qualify for the Big Dance.